Monday, February 18, 2013

Storytime: Over in Australia by Marianne Berkes

If you haven't yet checked it out, find a copy of Over in Australia, written by Marianne Berkes and illustrated by Jill Dubin.

This isn't exactly a bedtime story, although you may get requests for it at bedtime. Instead, it's a toe-tapping, knee-slapping rollicking counting book. The rhythm is contagious, and if you read it at a clip, your kids won't be able to help bopping their heads to the rhythm.

It's educational, too. It follows a basic counting book format (one crocodile, two kangaroos, three koalas, etc.), but it also names the animal's babies: hatchlings, joeys, and platypups. Platypups! I had no idea. When you reach the end of the story, there's an extra treat. You're informed that each page harbored a hidden animal to go back and find.

If your kids want more, the back matter of the book gives more information about each animal, and there are links to online treasures like the Australia Zoo and the Great Barrier Reef. You can even find sheet music, which gives you a melody for singing the words instead of chanting them. It's a very fun book, and it has the potential for changing an ornery co-op session to a happy one.

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